tv [untitled] May 30, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
anything other than what is it that you want me to do? the colonel also as a superior, the only thing i heard throughout the process is what is it we need to do? in terms of research wise. i didn't have to deal with any bureaucracy. it was purely a textural process and what the government has in mind is something that it can't speak about. why they declassified them and what is -- what we did do and we didn't have the documents for long and made the decision but we wanted to release the report and release the documents on the anniversary. we thought that it was -- that it was sticky. that was our decision. nobody put pressure on us in any way, shape or form and my director simply asked me do you think it's feasible. i said it was. and we met that night largely
because i was determined that we would meet the deadline but this was our decision and we made the promise unless we were pleased with the content of the report we would not release them just for the sake of meeting the anniversary. this was really our own decision not a political decision whatsoever. >> okay. with that, do you have a mic? why don't we start in the back. please state your name and affiliation. >> the "new york times" had an article about president obama's decision on killing. did bin laden have any fear about targeting killings even though he died before the one last fall. did he have any fears about it or any attempt to react to the targeted killing project because it severely undermine al qaeda in yemen. >> thank you.
yes, i didn't read that report this morning but bin laden, is very aware of what, you know, is called in technical terms the upset or operational security measures. in fact, my boss wrote an article about bin laden's upset measures. the main highlight, the main important thing was the aerial, the aerial aspect of monitoring areas and he was super careful about the moments of his men. he doesn't talk about targeting killing specifically or at least i don't think so but you can see that, that all forms of security measures that needed to be taken to ensure the safety of his men,
they were very much on his mind. >> andrea stewart, "huffington post." can you talk about the american jihadi or jihadis plural and now what is the state of american jihadis and is there a number one target? can you tell from the documents? >> well, that was an interesting surprise in the documents. he has over a 20-page letter and i was highly impressed by his arabic. and this is somebody who is, you know, with the exception of two mistakes that now native arabists might make, his arabic is really spot on and he's
giving advice, ideological advice not just media advice. he's somebody with political views and frankly he comes across as highly principled in terms of what al qaeda stands for and how the actions of regional jihadi groups are undermining the ideals of al qaeda and behind him highly critical of both the islamic state of iraq as well as the pakistani taliban. he comes across seeking complete disassociation from the islamic state of iraq and he lists the attacks that the taliban have mounted. so he comes across as somebody who is critical to al qaeda to its sort of the media, the
outfit that is out but also translate some english books to bin laden it seems because in one of the letters bin laden is asking that he translate a book, a recent book that was published by robert fitz. with respect to other american jihadis, that does not seem to have made a great impression on osama bin laden. in one of the letters it seems that bashir, the leader in yemen seems to have suggested to replace himself with anwar al awlaki. and bin laden responds no you're very qualified. we don't know enough about him. also he doesn't leave it at that. why don't you, all of you, the
leaders write me each one of you separate some of your own conceptualization of the situation. he wants to take it and grade the papers separately. he's reluctant to allow anwar al awlaki and makes it known that anwar al awlaki is not trusted on the battlefield and this for him is really where true leadership emerges and anwar al awlaki was not trusted in his mind. >> thank you very much. i'm from voice of america. we have nine hours broadcast in pakistan and afghanistan border region.
as as a journalist and living in the region on the outskirts which is a very beautiful area, so i have this question in mind, does this document say how he get there from the mountains over whatever way he adopted to or somebody who brought him there. and the second question is while he was in pakistan, do the documents say any communication with the pakistani taliban and not only the taliban pakistan but also those base d there, an communication or targeted things. thank you very much. >> with respect to how he got to abbottabad i doesn't mention it. seems he would be very cautious because he's very careful about his movement and the movement of
his, of his men. i would have expected him to have done his homework before he made the move and he does seem to have as i said in my presentation the support of some trusted pakistani brothers in the area. how he got there, he says that he, for the past nine years, he was being very careful in terms of his movement and based on reports that i've heard on the media not on the documents is that his wife gave birth, one of his wives gave birth in a hospital and only in emergency situations should you leave the homes. so, he doesn't specific in the documents and i won't pretend as if i know but i would say he had done his homework, he wouldn't have taken high risks about this. the documents that we have,
pakistan is not mentioned. so these are the ones that have been declassified. i don't know. so we know that he's been communicating with the pakistani taliban. that doesn't mean that he's in charge of them. so we know that he's, you know, chastising the leaders of the pakistani taliban. he's failing islam 101 in their eyes. they are at the bottom, from the perspective of the others. so getting back to tehe earlier control doesn't mean he's in control.
do they seek to build relationship with others, it wouldn't surprise me. but it doesn't mean, it doesn't mean that this is being in control. so these are two different things. >> this is interesting to me, right, the reiteratism of pakistani taliban, both, if i remember correctly for their behavior inside pakistan but also for the support of faisal shahad in new york. and bin laden obviously organized an attack that perhaps he didn't justify against civilians with the 9/11 attack most obviously, but killed a lot of what we would consider civilians and so i'm wondering
whether and how much the perhaps, you know, perfectly -- searching for the right word -- perfectly honest analysis that is provided in these letters reflects a post-facto sort of ideological justification for a practical analysis they are getting beat up because of killing of muslims, because of these things and bin laden and gadan are now trying to explain that in ideological terms. >> i wouldn't call it hypocrisy on the part of the leaders i would call it irreresponsibility. irresponsible for the following reasons. you can't going your public statements for the past, at least for the past decade if not longer, go on and call on the youth to disobey everybody and go and pick up jihad on your own time. they would tell them, jihad is
dying, it is your duty to take up jihad. bin laden kind of gives the age between 15 to 25 as an ideal age to take up because you don't have responsibility and so on. so you can't be calling on the young people to act on their own without the benefit, the discipline that you are educating your members of al qaeda and the members of al qaeda, you know, when you read or the ones that i have read, when you read the way that they think in terms of their operational measures, they really are much more interested in very special type quality of operations. you can see their own maturity in terms of the ideological thinking, their ideology is a strategic objectives. they know what they are doing. but you can't call on people and especially on the youth to go and act on their own and then
come back and tell them later on that, you know, why are things thank way they are? well, of course, what else do you expect? so it's as if these kind of leaders, whether it's bin laden or others, it's as if they are expecting these young men to be philosophiers jihadis. that they are in charge of the intellect and operations and so on. this is where i find their irreresponsibility. now this is a blow back. this is really a blow back for al qaeda when they have inspired all these people in their public statements and now these people are doing it the way they see fit. but when al qaeda had its organizational basis, its organization based in
afghanistan and it's had its guest houses, you can see the primary sources that they are interested in discipline. they are interested in how you mount lawful jihad. they want to invest in their people and they did. they did. but once they lost that base and there's been a vacuum, you got all these people riding up around tsz world and all of a sudden incident have these groups calling themselves al qaeda by inspiration and when other governments around the world start calling them al qaeda they are unwittingly empowered because these kids, these groups cannot, really cannot, can never become members of al qaeda.
they don't have what it takes -- al qaeda would not admit them into their own, as members of al qaeda if they had the organizational luxury to. >> they have killed a lot of people on the way. >> absolutely. that's not what we see bin laden and al qaeda wants. it's not just killing for killing's sake. it's not a question of they don't want -- they don't mind killing, but only if it is, if it is qualitative. so with respect to 9/11 they would justify it as an economic target. now you want to quibble where is economic and where is civilian and there's a good reason. if you say this is an economic target, why is the marketplace not an economic target. you can certainly go into a legal discussion with them on that basis and no doubt you'll
have plenty to criticize about al qaeda's conceptualization of an economic target. having said that you are forced to discern between 9/11 and say 7/7, right? these are different. so they are not interested in attacking. this is what makes you kind of wonder or push you to kind of say is this the qualitative attack that al qaeda would want? would bin laden be smiling or not. >> let me just drill down a question i already asked. i'm sorry. how can i not ask the question. is the -- do you see differences between bin laden and ayman al zawahiri on this specific issue. both of them are more pragmatic about the need to limit the killing of citizens and focus on
what you're calling qualitative attacks. one the earnings of that strategic perspective they are similar even if they disagree a little bit in how they should relate to the potential affiliates. >> ayman al zawahiri has come out in the past in public statements denouncing attacks against civilians. he's not somebody who is blood thirsty for civilians for the sask killing them. having said that, ayman al zawahiri seems to me to be more trusting of regional jihadi groups and is willing to partner with them, i think, for the namesake where as bin laden is way more cautious about the kind of groups that he wishes to partner with. >> okay. jen, how about up here in the front. >> this is a very long question and may be redundant but i'm trying to zero in on this. the word jihad of course means
struggle. and of course killing someone is against the koran. how would you justify any of the killing, be it 9/11 or any later, how do you -- what struggle is it and who are we struggling against and how is the cause so powerful that you break with the prohibition of killing innocent people including children. >> you're absolutely correct that the term jihad means struggle and in the koran it means both struggle in terms of ritual struggle and also quite -- there's a technical term for fighting. but the muslims view jihad, when they toefld the legal literature on warfare they developed the term jihad because they thought when you fight, when you fight the field it's different when you fight for god.
that's why the struggle for something more noble is the struggle for god that's why christians call it just war, because war is a problem. when you talk about just war it's equivalent to jihad. this is the equivalent of jihad from the islamic tradition. from the perspective of al qaeda, you know, when they are fighting, they are not, they don't believe them stoefbls fighting to kill for the sake of killing. it's not as if they need to have their fix every day and wake up. al qaeda sees itself to be fighting for a greater cause. the cause is to make god's word rein supreme. that's their language. they see the world to be a very imperfect world in terms of their own leaders. they believe their own leaders have been corrupt, have been oppressive and so on and unfortunately the politics of the world has been on their side more so than -- they didn't need to make a lot of convincing.
that's why they call on jihad to get people to, to embrace something that is bigger than themselves. that's that's why they use gee hat and they don't say, get up and fight just for the sake of fighting. they do see themselves as fighting for something noble. that's from their own perspective. now, of course, you have other muslims who would tell you that this is not the sort of lawful jihad we would with consider. this is not what jihad is about. these are interesting debates. but this is -- you know, from their own perspective, they don't believe that they are killing for the sake of killing. and that's why bin ladin is very careful in terms of his -- he says -- he was very -- even though he doesn't mind attacking the united states. assad violated the oath. he took an oath not to harm the
united states. and we don't want them to be appearing -- this he's making an interesting distinction. he's making a distinction between acquired citizenship, between being born as a citizen and having a visa. if you were with born as an american citizen, you've not taken an oath not to harm the united states. if you acquire a visa to the united states you're not taking an oath not to harm the united states. but if you have an acquired citizenship, you do take an oath. and this is where he wants to make it known that visas and born sit zoneship are different from when you take an oath. once you take an oath, you are bound to comply with that oath. he does have these kind of -- sort of understanding of legal jihad from the classical tradition that he would like to comply with. >> that's interesting, because
other folks, you know the most traumatic and deadly attack by americanp citizen in al qaeda's name was that by hassan who took an oath when he became an officer, swore an oath to protect the constitution. it would be interesting to note that bin ladin fell in the same category. let's start here and work our way with back. >> al richmond former state department. many files have not been released. first, were there more -- there's more intention to do so, to declassify? and whether or not that's the case, do you have a sense in conversation with people what the criteria may have been for the release of these files, but not others?
>> so if you read the report, there is a section that kind of describes the process. we received them at the end of a very long process. when everything has been exploited for security intelligence by the government. and only when they're done with them, and they want to declassify them. that's when we receive them. we have no say. we don't have as i said earlier, i don't have a security clearance. we with research and we teach. we are the typical academic outfit. we don't do more than -- i wish i could have a better answer for you. from our perspective, we have no clue whether they have the 6,000 documents or whether these 6,000
documents include something of substance. now, can i tell you on the basis of the 17 document that is we have read, these documents suggest that there were other communications during that period that were not declassified. now, are they available to the government? i don't know. it could have been that bin ladin destroyed them. it's very -- from our perspective, i think we have no knowledge whatsoever. since you are in the state department, you are closer, you might want to ask the dni office. we with received these documents from the dni office. they would be better suited to give you advice. i have no clue whatsoever as to what's out there. >> use your connections and let me know. >> you mentioned that you have
limited documents, now, those of us who are familiar with how the u.s. attorney and their information is given, they fabricate a lot of stuff. do you suspect any fabrication in these documents and the u.s. government. that's not very surprising. another question i would like to add to it, since you said osama bin ladin -- can you you compare them with our leaders, like georgep bush, dick cheney, barack obama? and finally, that citizenship -- i'm a naturalized citizen, i had to take oath. but i did consider my oath to be subject to our leaders behaving in a civilized -- if our leaders behave like hitler, we have the right to aggravate it. how ep so. >> on the question of
fabrication, i don't know how delicate i need to be about this. if they wanted to fabricate the evidence, i would expect them to be translated better. the translation that we receive is very weak, and the documen s documents -- i would expect them to have better translation. the other thing, if they really wanted to fabricate them. and one guy in london, who kind of said -- he's sympathetic. he's not a member al qaeda -- he's an intellectual thinker. i suspect that some of them were true. there is -- i can also see that they may have introduced certain
sentences here and there. if they want to fabricate them, why should they put bin ladin is concerned about -- why should they -- there are certain aspects of the documents that are not in the interest of any government frankly to betray osama bin ladin, someone who is appalled by indiscriminate attacks against civilians. the islamic state of iraq -- is this the sort of -- is this what you expect governments to be introducing to be fabricating? so direct my answer about the fabrication. personally, i did not -- i don't want to claim to be smart, but on the basis of what i read, it doesn't -- fabrication and forgery does not strike me as a possibility. so comparing to u.s. leaders,
these are completely different worlds. one -- you know, u.s. leader or other leaders are working -- they're working within the governance, within the par dime of the nation states. the the leaders of the jihadists there work withing on their own as ngo's. here's where, i think on one level you can say that jihad leaders have sacrificed more than other leaders. and that's why they have more credit in the minds of the general public. they have more credentials, here they are, they're not benefiting from anything. but there's something to be said that you could easily -- you could be a strong critic when you don't have the responsibility to govern. and that's why the jihadists, not just al qaeda are highly, in
my own mind, they are some of the best critics of injustice. they are the best critics of government. but unfortunately, whenever some jihadists have their own small -- they don't have much to offer. when they are being tested. they are not living up to the sort of justice that they promise that islamic teachings, social justice delivered. they're all motivated by social justice. i can see that. but when with you put them to the test of governance, they fail miserably. as critics i'm on their side for about 90% of what they say. there's nothing -- there is nothing that you want to condemn them in terms of their critique of global governance and so on. they have a lot of legitimate grievances that they articulate, put them